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Summary

A satiric novel by Evelyn Waugh, published in 1930.

Set in England between the wars, the novel examines the frenetic but empty lives of the Bright Young Things, young people who indulge in constant party-going, heavy drinking, and promiscuous sex. At the novel's end, the realities of the world intrude, with Adam Fenwick-Symes, the protagonist, serving on a battlefield at the onset of another world war.

©1930 Evelyn Waugh (P)2015 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Vile Bodies

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful narration

Really enjoyed this. The narration was spot on for the time and feel of the story.

5 people found this helpful

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hilarious tale of the bright young things

interwar years filled with booze and parties and the impending doom of WWII. Robert Hardy is brilliant as ever.

4 people found this helpful

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Iconic Voice brought daft story to reality

My favourite Waugh book is Brideshead which always has a reality that his other books never seem to attain and I thought that when I read Vile Bodies years ago. Robert hardy's reading of this was a joy though and just made complete sense of the whole story and I suppose with it the author's satirising of the time. It made me sad that the great voice of Robert Hardy is no longer around as it was a real joy listening to his narration and worth buying this audible production for that alone.

3 people found this helpful

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Outrageously witty

Vile Bodies is a madly brilliant and hilarious novel - the narration is a tour de force, and beyond all praise.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent narration

Talented narration made the book worth listening to. What skill. All books should have this quality of narration from talented actors/authors.

2 people found this helpful

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Unlistenable

One to read. Evelyn Waugh ,
at his best but I found this impossible to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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Mad, sad and funny

Great performance from Robert Hardy. Story is a bit choppy but some very funny and poignant bits.

1 person found this helpful

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Strange

Odd book. Author dislikes his characters. Disjointed. Moments of humour but overall not that funny. Deus ex machina ending.

Well read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MJ
  • 21-09-22

Improves towards the end

The second half is better than the first. More a series of amusing vignettes than a story. Not as good as Scoop or Decline and Fall.

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Exceptional narration

I would say this is probably the best narration I’ve listened to. The late, great Robert Hardy is tremendous in making what are, on the whole, dislikable characters likeable. Would highly recommend!

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  • M. J. Walsh
  • 11-05-20

Between the Waughs

Absurd comedy meets contemptuous mockery, before concluding as sad elegy in Waugh's fragmented account of the life of the bright young things in society London between the wars. At times Robert Hardy's reading seems to be trying too hard for effect, but is at its best in the very funny moments featuring a collection of blimpish numbskulls. Uneven but a good experience.

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  • David
  • 10-04-20

Disappointing

Found it on the recommendation of Alexei Sayle in an article about humorous fiction. Should have gone with gut instinct about Sayle's own attempts at humour. Some wry moments but that's about it. Simon's character seems to know something!